Naturopathic Doctors Focus on Addressing Root Causes of Illness

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Identifying and addressing the underlying root causes of disease leads to the most positive and enduring health outcomes for patients, states the AANP in new FAQ.

While symptoms are the body’s way of communicating problems, they are not the cause of illness. Naturopathic doctors are trained to find and treat what’s 'under the hood.'

Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are trained to uncover and heal the underlying root causes of disease whenever possible. This leads to the most positive and enduring health outcomes for patients, according to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), which today released a new FAQ in partnership with the Institute for Natural Medicine (INM).

When it comes to illness, naturopathic doctors distinguish symptoms from underlying root causes. While symptoms are the body’s way of communicating problems, they are not the cause of illness. Symptoms express a body’s attempts to heal, similar to the way a car’s check engine light demonstrates an engine’s unresolved issues. Naturopathic doctors are trained to find and treat what’s “under the hood.” While they can and do provide relief from symptoms using natural approaches first, their goal is to address the root causes of illness whenever possible.

“’Identify and treat the root cause of illness’ is one of the core principles of naturopathic medicine,” said Michelle Simon, PhD, ND, and Chair of the INM Board of Directors. “To address underlying causes, NDs often spend one hour or more with patients in an initial appointment. They take time to examine the whole person, including diet, lifestyle, genetics, psycho-emotional, spiritual, socioeconomic, environmental issues, and more.”

Because they focus on root causes, naturopathic doctors may be a good fit for individuals who have struggled with unresolved symptoms for months or years.

The complete FAQ, “What do naturopathic doctors mean by ‘identify and treat the root cause’?” can be found at https://www.naturopathic.org/natfaqs#FAQ19.

About the AANP
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is the professional association that represents licensed naturopathic physicians. The AANP strives to make naturopathic medicine available to every American, and to increase recognition of naturopathic physicians as the identified authorities on natural medicine. Learn more at http://www.naturopathic.org.

About the Institute for Natural Medicine
The Institute for Natural Medicine (INM) is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides public education about naturopathic medicine and increases consumer access to naturopathic doctors. As a close partner to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the INM strives to increase consumer and physician choice in safe, effective healthcare that improves patient outcomes and lowers costs. For more information visit http://www.naturemed.org or call 855-799-4490.

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Taryn Ernest, Manager of Public Relations, Marketing & Communications
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
since: 02/2009
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